Friday, August 15, 2008

My Best Friend's Event...

Believe it or not, the #1 role of an event planner is that of "best friend." We really have to form bonds with our clients so that we can truly get to know their wants and needs, but also to assure them that we have their best interest at heart.

I will not lie, at the beginning of my event planning career it took me a while to get past the formal "client/professional" relationship. I felt that it was improper to form any bonds with the client past the handshaking, contract, and delivery of services. Now don't get me wrong, I was very personable with my clients, but I held back a lot of myself in fear that my client would not approve. What I found out through trial and error is that the client appreciates that personal bond- actually need it!
A best friend is a person that you trust, can count on, knows has your best interest at heart. These are all qualities that an event planner must have. The client should have confidence that you are going to be honest with them regarding their ideas, budgets, choices i.e. They also want to know that you are accessible and reliable. I tell my clients to never worry about asking too many questions or emailing/calling too much regarding their event. I want them to know that I truly do care about how their event will turns out.
It's really funny, because I rarely refer to my clients as "clients" but rather as my "friends." It is something that just developed over time. Once I learned how to let down my guard, I began to develop natural rapports and friendships with all of my clients that extended past the event date. This is a very good thing, because I have really been enriched by some of these people as well as had many new doors opened for me professionally.
So for anyone who is looking to become an event planner, just keep in mind that the initial role is that of a "friend", not "planner" - it may be the difference between the success or failure of your business.

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